Ways to Be a Better Nicer Person

By Patti Wood Author of Snap Making the Most of First Impressions Body language and Charisma

There is no greater gift to give to someone than your interest. Here are Great Tips to Be a Better Person.

Give a Compliment

Why it works. If a compliment is gently given and very specific it makes a person feel seen. They light up and open up to you, the person that has made them feel so good. Ideally find something very specific to compliment. Otherwise, the person may feel that you have a general compliment ready to give to any person you see coming down the street.  You can say something about their appearance, “I like the leather on your shoes, or I like the design on your shirt, or “I like the way your smile lights up the room." Be specific for example instead of just saying, "Susan that was an excellent meal” after that say, “That was so good, I could eat the rest of the pot with a spoon." or “That brownie dessert you made was melt in your mouth tell your momma good,” “I loved how you made it so pretty on the plate, you’re a real artist.”

Ask a Question

You can start with a simple, “Hello my name is ….and what do you do for fun?” Then listen, resisting the urge to jump in and talk about yourself. The information they share about themselves and their problem can help you determine how you can best serve them and thus help you craft what you will say in your elevator conversation.

Lean in Close and Flirt with the World

My mom never meets a stranger. I remember when my mom and I would go into Walgreen’s soda fountain for a BLT after a day of shopping. My mom would sit down with a big smile, and the waitress would walk up and my mom would turn to her and lean in close as if she had known that waitress all her life and start talking. But most of all she would start listening. She would look that waitress in the eye, nod her head and keep saying say "uh-huh," and by the end of the meal she would leave the place knowing the waitress’s name and the names of her children. She did this everywhere she went and she still does it. She flirts with the world, and everybody loves it. 

Ask more questions and listen some more

This back and forth flow gives you rapport with the other person. Years ago I strained my voice singing in a community theater production of Godspell. It hurt to talk so I began asking questions as I met people instead of spouting off what I did. I am a communication consultant so I asked questions like, “What’s going on in your organization? “How’s the communication in your company?” “What are you doing to deal with your communication issues?” It’s amazing what I learned and how much business I got from people I barely said a word to. Because I listened to their problems, they believed (and rightly so) I could solve their problems. You might be memorable to a stranger because of what they said about themselves in your presence. Be memorable for what you don’t say.

Turn off technology or Don’t Answer It or get off of it when people are present 

We have become so accustomed to answering the phone and looking at our computers, leaving our hands on the keyboards when someone comes into our offices to talk and leaving our cell phones in our hands and talking on them in public that we forget how rude all those things are. When you are standing in the checkout line, talk to the cashier and the people in line. Be present. If you are out with someone, try turning off your cell phone and say out loud, “Let me turn this off while we talk.” It’s amazing what a difference it will make in the impression you give because so few people take the time to be that polite. I suggest that when you are going into an important meeting, especially one where you will be presenting, you remove any visible technology. Hide your cell phone and PDA, rather than wearing them on your waist. When you have them in view, you’re saying nonverbally that someone else is more important and could interrupt you at any time.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.